It was on the night of August 14, 1974, that the Argentine literary giant Jorge Luis Borges was wrapped in a surreal dream. In the recesses of his subconscious, he violently attacked Jaime Rest, his former assistant professor at the University of Buenos Aires. The act was so vivid, and the irrational hatred so visceral, that upon waking, Borges considered the bizarre notion of calling Rest to apologize—for an offense committed only in the world of dreams.
This complex dynamic between Borges and Rest epitomizes their relationship, which spanned from 1956 to 1963 at the University of Buenos Aires, where they were head and assistant professor of English literature, respectively. Borges, himself a labyrinth of intricate ideas, once described Rest in a conversation with close friends Adolfo Bioy Casares and Manuel Peyrou as a figure of “notable ugliness,” reminiscent of “rough and vigorous animals, like the wild boar.”